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1-800-769-2684

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Phone: 503-362-2684
Fax: 503-362-2787

2725 Portland Rd. NE,
Salem, OR 97301

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Battery School

General Battery Care Procedures

General deep cycle battery care procedures

Reasons Why Batteries Fail

General Difference Between Gel and Wet Batteries

State of Charge and Sulfation

Connect Your Batteries for Optimum Efficiency

Just A Little Corrosion Causes Big Voltage Drops

Don't Be Misled By Battery Ratings

Which Deep Cycle Battery Do I Choose?

Daily Amphere-Hour Consumption For Your RV

Safety Tips on Charging Batteries

Determining When A Battery is Fully Charged

Why Are My Batteries Discharged

What is the difference between series battery connections and parallel battery connections and how do they increase battery capacity and voltage?

Jump start procedures

Preparing your batteries for winter

Winter is the hardest on your car.  Colder temperatures make your engine harder to crank and your battery less able to crank the engine over. There are services that should be performed now to maintain vehicle reliability.  If you believe out-of-sight, out-of-mind is acceptable for vehicle maintenance, it’s time for a reality check.  Good vehicle performance is directly linked to the care it receives.

  1. Visually inspect your battery for clean surfaces, loose connections, and corrosion. Dirt, corrosion and moisture provide a path for energy to escape from the battery. When corrosion      or dirt accumulates, use a weak solution of baking soda and water to clean the battery’s exterior. You may need a wire brush to scrub the terminals.  Loose connections also may result in an explosion!  Battery cables are important as defective cables and poor connections are two of the top reasons for cranking problems.  Keep cable and connections “bright and tight”.  Play close attention to ground connections.


  2. Make sure you maintain the electrolyte levels (for serviceable batteries) between above the battery’s plates and below the vent well cap opening. Plates exposed to air will sulfate, become hard and brittle and you’ll loose battery power. Be careful not to overfill.  Adding too much water not only dilutes the electrolytes sulfuric acid but can cause a drop in voltage.  Never add acid to the battery!


  3. Measure the “state of charge” with preferable a hydrometerIf the battery is sealed, let the voltage equilibrate and determine “state of charge” with an accurate volt meter.  Appropriate charge levels (1.265 specific gravity as measured by a hydrometer and 12.6 volts as measured with a volt meter) are very important component of year around maintenance.  A discharged battery will lead to a starting failure.  A battery stored in a discharged state is susceptible to sulfation and freezing.


  4. Have your battery tested by a mechanic or battery specialist to ensure that it meets manufacturing specs for its power.  Not all batteries are created equal. You need a load tester or other digital battery testing equipment to accurately test the battery.  If the battery does not met manufacturer’s specs, then replace the battery with one that does.


  5. If you are storing batteries be sure to charge the battery before storage and store them in a cool, dry location.  Once a battery is filled with electrolyte, it discharges at 1% a day at 70 degree Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures, from 40 to 60 degrees F are ideal. Discharged batteries can freeze at 18 degrees F.  Batteries stored in cars newer than 1981 have parasitic drains that will further discharge the batteries.  Check with a specialist before disconnecting the battery from the car’s electrical system.  Charge automotive, R.V. batteries every 3 months.  Charge motorcycle and ATV batteries once every month.  For vehicles left in storage including cars, R.V’s,  trucks, motorcycles, personal water craft, etc, there are several very good manufacturers (i.e. Interactor, VDC Electronics, Battery Tender, etc) that have perfected “completely automatic” chargers that will maintain your batteries at a “full state of charge” but not overcharge.


Advantages and Disadvantages of using two 12 volt batteries connected in parallel or two 6 volt batteries connected in series.

Testing the battery